On the blue rim of porcelain
plovers run up and back
to the water’s edge, the same path
to flee as to return, Ryokan would say.
All he needed to know of irony,
he knew: what is coveted will be broken
by the body––an oyster’s craw, an infinite
spiral of lemon rind, and here,
a loose strand of hair wrapped around
the blue underglaze, spring snow
melting into rain, a koan of wind filling
the reeds with absence. Depth fools the eyes.
Nest of plovers, here are my geta,
you may have them. I would follow you
out from here, but your wings are cut off
by the slightest crack. Better to let you shoal
with the earth’s cold sea, to leave you
to the tide’s graveled arms. Let you stand
on the blue rim with legs made of water.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 2.